Too Much Information

Megapuss

Surfing

Vapor Records CD

 

The old adage “you can’t judge a book by its cover” applies equally to album cover art. If one were to rate Surfing solely on its visual components, its marks would be middling at best. It consists of Zappa-esque potty humor and naked hirsute band members cavorting with sharp implements. The music itself however, is far more promising, some provocative song titles notwithstanding.  

Devendra Banhart has made a name for himself as a solo artist, but his collaborations here with drummer Gregory Rogove and members of the Strokes revel in alt-folk spontaneity and psych rock jamming. The title tune, “To the Love Within,” and the sparsely adorned but oh-so-lovely “Another Mother” are particularly engaging.

There’s a freshness and vitality to the music-making here, suggesting that Banhart thrives in this more relaxed atmosphere and did well to take a break from the whirlwind ride of industry hype. So, if it takes a bit of visual silliness to bring the band into this creative space, I for one am willing to indulge them – to a degree. But next time, Devendra, keep your clothes ON!

 

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